Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Texas Stars Get Statement Win Over OKC Barons, 5-1

Anders Lindback's 34 saves help Texas win back-to-back for the first time since early November
Anders Lindback (Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
The Oklahoma City Barons had won eight straight coming into the Cedar Park Center tonight and were looking to add a ninth at the expense of the host Texas Stars. Depth scoring activated for the Stars as Jesse Root got his first AHL tally, William Wrenn potted his first of the year, and Taylor Peters had some key faceoffs to help make those goals happen.

"We've been working so hard as a fourth line," said Taylor Peters. "We've had chances, but we haven't been able to contribute offensively. There's a lot of pressure on us to develop that trust with Laxdal and let him play us more. It was nice to have it rewarded offensively."

Coach Laxdal added, "You need to have some secondary scoring. They stepped up for us tonight to take some pressure off the top six."

The Stars chased OKC goalie Richard Bachman from the net with four goals on fourteen shots in the first 26 minutes. It was the first time a Barons goalie has been pulled all season.

"They're a very offensive hockey club and they can strike quickly," said Laxdal of the Barons. "We got to Bachman tonight and got some traffic on him early. We had a good start, getting the first goal. I liked what I saw from the group and our fourth line tonight. It's a pretty solid win."

On the other side of the ice, Anders Lindback had arguably his best game for the Stars organization, stopping 34 of 35 shots against him. Lindback was active with his glove hand, putting a quick stop to a lot of Barons' offensive chances.

Late in the first period, Greg Rallo got the Stars started on the power play. Rallo was the beneficiary of a rebound and potted the goal to make it 1-0. Coach Laxdal went to his fourth line on the ensuing faceoff, and it paid off. Texas won the faceoff and charge in hard on the OKC net. Jesse Root collected his first career AHL goal with assists from Taylor Peters and Scott Valentine just 22 seconds after the Rallo power play goal.

The Stars continued their onslaught in the second period. With the fourth line on the ice again, Taylor Peters won a faceoff back to his blue liners. William Wrenn bombed it from distance on Bachman for the 3-0 lead.

"One of the staples of our game is a good net presence," said Peters, who blocked Bachman's view on the play. "Wrenn had a really good one-timer there and it just went in."

Three minutes later, Texas took advantage of some tired penalty killers and scored an even strength goal just after a penalty to Iiro Pakarainen expired. Greg Rallo went again, scoring from his familiar spot in the left wing circle off the assist from Derek Meech and Brendan Ranford.

"[Rallo]'s scored some big goals for us, and to be honest I'm expecting a lot of him," said Laxdal. "It was great to see him respond. It was great to see him bury one of those because he's had a lot of Grade A scoring chances."

As the period wound down, OKC did get on the board. Ryan Hamilton scored on a rebound after Anders Lindback made the initial save on the shot from Jason Williams, but Maxime Fortunus was unable to prevent the second shot from Hamilton.

Justin Dowling added one more for good measure in the final frame as he collected his own rebound to make it 5-1. Brett Ritchie collected an assist to stretch his point streak to four games. Ritchie has 3-3=6 in that time.

Texas allowed just five shots in the final frame and avoided their recent folly of capitulating in the third.

"We only gave up five shots," said Laxdal. "We did a better job of staying on our puck and on our toes [in the third]."

Texas stays in town to face Charlotte twice this weekend.

Tonight's lines:
Rallo-Morin-Ranford
Ritchie-Dowling-Glennie
Hulak-Faksa-Stransky
Troock-Root-Peters

Gaunce-Fortunus
Meech-Honka
Valentine-Wrenn

Lindback

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Rynnas, McKenzie, Jokipakka (call up)
Smith (scratched)
Hardowa (out, lower body)
Henderson (out, hand)

Tonight's attendance was 4,782.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Oklahoma City - December 10 2014

2 comments:

  1. Good goaltending cures a lot of ill's, I'm rejuvenated seeing some good play by our goaltender. The team (also) looked good tonight, not good as in last year rolling out any line, anytime and producing with it but looked good in a "hey we might have something there!" kinda way. The forth line caught my eye too. This team has been needing life from the middle to end of the bench. Hopefully they hold that line together awhile. Also that's what we need from Rallo. Good game.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The type of performance that can spring the team back to their winning ways. Good team win with many contributors. Carl is right though good goalie play with good defense in him front of him should add to the W column. Bill

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting. Remember to keep it civil. Using a name will help us identify replies and build a Texas Stars community.